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Sunday, August 30, 2015

House For Sale

So, we are back to square one. Again. The house we were under contract for fell through after 3 extensions  of the contract due to issues with the deed. It was not a huge deal - we had the same thing happen with the Bridgeport house in which someone had not written the deed correctly., Same thing here - we feel terrible for the home sellers as we were in that position not so long ago and we know they were counting on this sale.But our lawyer told us not to do it until it was fixed because it had the potential to become a huge problem when we resold it. We were assured it would be fixed but it just kept dragging on and on with no end in sight . After almost a month no one ended up filing any corrections so we picked up our toys and left.  This buying, fixing and selling homes is not as easy as HGTV would have you believe, is it? It's almost like the perfect storm in which you need to find a short sale/foreclosure in a good neighborhood with the potential to be fixed with a small budget and it be in a place that the neighbors will not be walking off with your construction supplies. 

 So, we did not sign the last extension and off we went - David found another house which was more money, but it's closer so his commute will be under 30 minutes this time and the other homes in the neighborhood are much higher priced. We will hopefully - planets align and all of that - be the owners by next weekend. David has met the crabby pants neighbor already who came over when she saw him to ask if we were buying it. The first thing she announced was the garden was HERS - it's a weird six foot wide strip that runs along the backyard - so not to think it was YOURS. David noticed she had to use OUR backyard to get to HER garden so he is thinking he will take up the occupation of Bridge Troll if the sale goes through. He will have a jar for the dollar he's going to charge everytime she comes into the yard. Then she asked if he knew someone had DIED in that house. Apparently some "mean old guy" had gotten up one morning, took a shower, laid down, and well, DIED. Seriously lady, you need to work on your ghost story - I mean, really? So I should expect a boo-ghosty type voice in the night going....
"Whhoooo..... I need a towel, I need aa tooowwweellll.......". And then she added that college students used to PARK in the driveway (it's down the road from the local college), David told her anyone that wanted to would be welcome to park there - nothing like a little chain jerking, is there? So, all in all, not a bad turnout if this actually goes through, we have all the supplies that we had bought for the other house stored in the garage and if it doesn't go through there is another property nearby that we can buy. It's a duplex and the bottom is rented to an elderly gentleman who has lived there for over 30 years and he pays $350 a month - which he announced several times in case David was getting any ideas of charging anything other than $350 a month. Apparently he does not know that David is not married to Little Nell, but more like Snidely Whiplash......I'll let you know what happens!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

All Work, Little Play.

I'm currently sitting in my backyard with Molly next to me on the wicker couch. Reuben is doing all sorts of Sneaky Dog Things and is checked on quite frequently as he got out of the new fenced in yard yesterday. Iwas quite horrified to see him doing a victory lap around Mrs. Kravitz's backyard - the neighbor who hates us - and of course he was home. But the new fence is working just fine and it's nice to be able to sit outside with the dogs. Of course the downside is I'm doing work, trying to keep up as we lost 3 managers and then have been acquiring more clients. The world did not stop turning, thank you for asking. Since I can access my files on my tablet I've bought a bluetooth keyboard to use. I do not like working on the weekends and after work, but it's a bit more tolerable doing it with the birds chirping and windchimes chiming. I have to put up the hummingbird feeder I suppose - they've been feeding off the numerous hostas but they are about done for the fall - so the hummingbirds hover at eyelevel, wanting to know what the deal is. I took in the last of the zucchini this morning, a bit undersized but edible. The pumpkins are  turning orange but I think they' ll be pretty tiny, they do not seem to like growing in the little hammocks I made for them - they're growing in the air. I'll have to start composting, I think the soil where I had my garden this year is just very poor, it's where the shed was for years. David moved the shed to the back of the property and the neighbor tilled the already bald spot. Not much else going on today, I started another pair of socks, I took out the half done sweater a couple of days ago, it's been there so long the knitting bag was covered in dust. I just cannot figure out how to fix it, Darlene from my knitting group said I should bring it in and they can look at it, I just might do that. But before I do that I think I'll sit down with the pattern and see if I can't figure out the ratio of decreases to the stitches that I have on stitch holders on the back piece. Or I'll just continue to ignore it by knitting wools socks. Works for me.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Adventure Time!

Today we drove out to Ligonier - one of the women in my knitting group had said there were a couple good yarn shops out there - and that's as good a reason as any. It was a hike and David had to go to Lowes first to pick up his clearance haul. The other day he was in and they sold him an entire clearance cart which included a $600 special order french doors with those blinds inside the windows. He got back around 9:30 so we got a little bit of a late start but not too bad. It was a really, cute touristy sort of town with a big gazabo in the center. And better yet, they were having a bit antique fair - every inch of sidewalk covered with vendors. We didn't buy much but it was fun to look! There were old paintings and postcards, school desk and quilts, books and toys. We were in and out of stores too - all those quaint shops with handmade soap, jewelry, second hand items and used books. We found both yarn shops - one was right on the circle - the other was frustrating. My GPS found it but could not pin point it. We walked a little then ducked into the library for directions. Sometimes old fashioned just asking directions is the best way to go. Both stores were nice, I bought something in each of course. After that we went to Fort Ligonier which is a historic recreation on the actual site of  the civil war site. . It was interesting - for me at least. David hates stuff like that, he made snarky comments about how this was not the REAL fort, and it hot, and this was not very interesting - he is not a museum kind of a guy and I usually don't take him. But we were there and it was there so David was a trooper. On the way back we needed to get a few groceries so we stopped at a grocery store we've never been to. There was a tractor store which David went to - I went to the mall next door that they have turned into a giant flea market. Good concept, sad reality. It was like acres and acres and acres of.....crappy stuff. 70's furniture, dirty toys, a lot of things that looked like they would break ten minutes after you got it home It was weird - the old stores that formerly  housed shoe stores and clothes, now were filled with junk stores. There was some worth while stuff but nothing I needed. It had a funny, depressing odor to it, you could almost smell the hopelessness. I put my head down and made no eye contact with any vendor, worried my guilt would talk me into a Holly Hobby figure just to keep from feeling bad about not buying anything. We went to the grocery store next - that was wierd too as it had a full hardware store attached to it. I have no idea, one one side were groceries and the other side people wearing workaprons and DoIt! shirts amost the paint and bolts. It was shabby - but clean and had an amazing variety of things. After we stopped at a farm stand for vegetable and then home. By the time we got home I was exhausted. It was a long day with a lot of walking - but it was fun. David unloaded his haul from Lowes, we did quite well by the way. I am picking the last of my zucchini tomorrow, I think the plants are finally all worn out. We went out to dinner on Friday night after looking at the house we have gone into contract for. The one we were buying they were not able to clear up the issues with the deeds and we had to move on - we've wasted way too much time on it already.  Two weeks and hopefully we will be ready to roll again. David is almost done with our living room, it just needs a carpet - I want it done now because once we get the next house I go back down to the bottom of the list.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Dog Days Of Summer

So, the saga with the house we're under contract continues - I'm giving it a couple of weeks and then we might be yelling Uncle, we'll see. But that leaves David with a couple of weeks to finish projects around here - I had asked him to specifically do two things. He gets edgy because we're between houses but we will spend money on these projects at some point, either now or later. Won't be any cheaper so might as well get it down. The livng room is coming out great, it will be double the size of the original when he's finished. Reuben has finally made peace with it - for the longest time he would not go past where the original wall had been. We did manage to coax him over, but then he'd Scary Pee and bolt so we let him be. He finally figured it out a couple of weeks ago and joins Molly on the bench to spy on the Potentially Dangerous Neighbors. We actually peep at them a little as there are two fighting over a property line. One neighbor has lined up 2 x 4"s and the offended neighbor sneaks over and  tosses them in his driveway. Then he puts them back. Rinse, repeat. Our next door neighbors continue not to speak to us over the ditch that he told everyone was overflow from our septic system - when it rains there is about a quart of water in it. He was wrong but cannot admit it so when we go outside I wave at him and he creeps back in his house. And yes I do it on purpose, it's funny to see him turn himself inside out pretending he does not see us. I do really love our neighborhood. Anyhow, the other thing I asked David to do was fence in part of the yard - we have 6 acres and two side butt up against farm land. When we let the dogs out we have to go with them, if you're doing anything outside you have to constantly keep an eye on them. It is not very relaxing to be reading(Molly - come!) or BBQing (Reuben - get over here!), or watering the garden (NO! STOPTHAT!). We have a lovely backporch with wicker furniture that we never get to enjoy. So David fenced in about a half acre, not a lot but it's plenty of room for Frick and Frack to run around. He is putting a gate in the back so he can get the lawn tractor in to mow and I can still take them out to the woods. But we can let them out in the morning without having to go out with them and it's nice to sit and not worry if they're running off. David did have to agree it was a good idea. My garden is starting to stall, I brought the last load of zucchini into the office - but I grew so much I was able to zucchini an office of almost 20 people. There are a few left but they will be for me, David would like some zucchini bread so I'll make some next week. And the pumpkins are doing fine, but still a little disappointed they are not watermelons. I guess I'll have to work on my gardening skills. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Enough Time, Too Much Other Stuff

Many people complain they don't have enough time - that's not my problem. I have tons of time, but most of it is taken. I don't think I've been angry lately, more sad and depressed I suppose. Last Tuesday for the first time this summer I was going to be able to make my knitting group twice in a row. That may not seem like much but I'm out of the house between work and travel 12 hours a day - if I'm lucky. If there's anything after hours it can  stretch into 14 or more. That's pushes everything back so most weekends are spent shopping for food, cleaning the house, getting my stuff ready for the week so I'm not spending what little time I have in the morning ironing or trying to find two matching socks. So anyway I told David multiple times I would be late, I went to the my group and came home after 8p.... and he forgot again and had only gotten home about 45 minutes before me. So, I was upset - because now the one thing I have left that I can do, I will probably have to stop even that because it's not fair to the dogs to be stuck in the house for 14 hours.  It's almost halfway through August, I have been swimming zero times, I have taken no vacation, and today - for the first time in months I actually got out to walk in the park with Molly. But the only reason for that was because I had to take Friday off for a doctor's appointment and we got a little ahead on the shopping and cleaning.  I feel like I used to have a life - I used to hike on the weekends, I went to the gym, I had time to do things. Now it feels like I can't get done fast enough, going out and doing anything just makes me anxious - I'm constantly clock watching or calculating how long it will take me to get back home so I can do the rest of what needs to be done finished before the week starts up again. I wake up in the middle of the night mentally shuffling my clients around, stressing if I've missed anything, sometimes I'm exhausted before I get out of bed. I did finally get to the park today, Molly was so excited about going and I actually walked 5 miles, taking my time. Everytime I started to think about my Never Ending List Of Things To Do I reminded myself that list will always be there and it's not a crime to take a little bit of time for yourself to get lost in the woods. Hopefully I will find a way to balance out my life again. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Take Me To The Mall

I had a cancellation between clients yesterday so I saw my first one and then took my lunch hour. There's a mall near the client that I've been wanting to stop in, so....I did. It was kind of sad - some malls are still thriving but I've been noticing more and more the mall is starting to slowly dissapear. It was large and clean with a fountain in the center, but there was maybe a handful of people, so quiet! Some senior citizens were sitting or quietly conversing on the benches scattered by the fountain, a lot of the shop owners were standing in their own entrances chatting with each other. About half of the stores were closed, empty racks and scattered debris - the third floor  abandoned. The food court was the busiest, but you could tell the people there were meeting for coffee or simply out of the hot weather - no shopping bags. There was a beautiful carosel with a second tier, no children to ride though. The person manning it would spin it once awhile, the lights and music, then it would stop again. Part of it is my fault, I'm just as guilty as the next guy of shopping on the internet. Let's face it - years ago I had shelves and piles of books for instance, now I sit on the couch and if I see a book I want, it's mine instantly. I hit the Buy It Now button and it takes my credit card and downloads the book - or the whole series. I no longer needs those shelves either, my entire library weighes about 6 ounces, give or take. And clothes - there are so many outlets and discount places now - why pay 40 dollars for a shirt from Eddie Bauers when I can get it at Gabes for 8? But I miss the mall -  I miss going in all the little stores, trying on the clothes, the food court, the movies. And they're not all dying - we stopped at the one in Morgantown because I wanted to pick up one thing after my doctor's appointment and it was it's usual, noisy busy place. The food court was full, kids were all over, the school clothing sales were in full swing. All the stores were open and I ended up buying more than I had planned on. And it was fun and not sad. So I guess some malls will be staying open - and some will not survive the Internet. And speaking of the doctor - my appointment with the glaucoma specialist went very well as usual. My eyesight with glasses is 20/20 and that is with these glasses that had the strength reduced - and I'm going into year 4 with no eyedrops or medication, the pressure remains the same. So I don't have to see him again for 6 months. I'm very ok with that!